Posts Tagged ‘trust’

5 Easy Ways To Persuade Others That You Are Trustworthy

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

FBI agents tend to be hard chargers who look at the world in terms of black or white, right or wrong, legal or illegal. It’s important that we are perceived as trustworthy because if the public cannot place its trust in us, we can no longer do our job.

The FBI is under deserved scrutiny for its investigation into the 2016 election. In my time as an agent, we welcomed outside inquiries because it’s essential that investigators be non-partisan and non-biased. Lessons from our history books remind us that the result is not always morally acceptable when the few in power decide who should win, or lose, an election. The results may not be to our personal liking, but investigators must be perceived as trustworthy in their pursuit of the truth.

Agents who worked criminal crimes had it easy because it was more of a “just the facts” approach to an investigation. Laws helped to establish clear lines of acceptable behavior. My work was in counterintelligence which relied on building trust. I was assigned the colossal sales job of persuading foreign spies to work for the U.S. government. There’s no possible reason why a foreign spy would want to continue a conversation with me.

It was essential that I created strong relationships built on trust, even when they knew I was an FBI agent. Especially when they knew, because they looked for deception and traps.

As entrepreneurs, business owners, and sales people, you’re in the same boat. You need to persuade others that you’re trustworthy in an era of deceit and cynicism. Maybe what your potential customers hear about you isn’t correct, or even fair, but that doesn’t stop the rumors from flying around and your reputation can be at stake. 

Often the question is not whether people lie, it’s what are they lying about? Do they stretch their optimism and hope that business will turn around? Will they create a fabrication like Bernie Madoff? Does the CEO tell a half-truth or do they simply omit an important piece of information?

Here are 5 easy ways to persuade others that you are trustworthy:

1. Start With Self-Awareness

Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves—Gandhi

Remember that people deceive themselves as much as they deceive others. They may be unaware of how others perceive them. People can deceive themselves and believe any number of things—sometimes they exaggerate their own importance or abilities to impress others. Sometimes they’re too critical of their own efforts. At other times, they don’t give themselves enough credit for their accomplishments.

The incredible thing about self-deception is that not only are we telling a lie, but we’re lying to ourselves! We all have blind spots about our own performance.

How To Make It Work For You: Don’t sabotage yourself and your best efforts to be seen as trustworthy to others by a lack of self-awareness. Work to understand your emotions—what you feel and what triggered it—so you can choose whether your response is productive and effective. Mental toughness is the ability to manage your emotions, thoughts, and behavior in ways that set you up for success.

2. Keep Your Word

As simple as this sounds, it’s one of the most important steps in building a foundation of trust. Do what you say and say what you do. When you cancel an appointment or fail to follow through, it creates fractures in your trustworthiness.

It might not seem like a big deal to you, but repeated failures to keep your word add up over time. People will perceive you as less trustworthy so when you make a promise, keep it.

How To Make It Work For You: If you can’t keep a promise, explain why you can’t. You may need to make a new promise to make it up. Be sure to keep this new promise no matter what! This also means that you show up on time and respond quickly to emails and phone calls.

3. Learn to Communicate In A Clear Manner

I once had a supervisor who seemed to change his mind every week about the squad’s strategy on reporting contacts with foreign spies. Whether he actually did change his mind or not, his lack of ability to communicate his thoughts undermined our trust in him. His lack of ability to communicate in a clear and consistent manner caused many failed relationships with the agents on his squad.

How To Make It Work For You: Clear and constructive communication encourages honest conversations. It also means they’re willing to admit their mistakes and communicate them to those who both rely upon and trust them. It is an constructive reaction that shows genuine interest in the good of all. A good communicator will also ask for more details to show their interest and acknowledge the experiences or feelings of the other person. They will be consistent in their response and the message they send to others.

4. Commit To The Relationship

Authentic conversations are built when people are committed to grow and deepen the relationship, not just to maintain the status quo. If the relationship is the central consideration, mutual commitments are essential to avoid concerns about manipulation or control in the conversation.

How To Make It Work For You: Speak to the other person’s interests and priorities. Validate them and their choices. Don’t judge their behavior, actions, or choices. It means you will need to invest the time it takes to be a true friend who is concerned about their well-being.

5. Stop Being A Prick; It’s Not All About You

This should be obvious, but the ego is a wild beast that needs to be tamed on a regular basis. Your time with the other person really does need to be about the other person. Trustworthiness can be undermined by vanity and ego when the conversation no longer focuses on the person in front of you.

Research tells us that we are most happy when we have positive social interactions and relationships. Our brain rewards us when we are able to share our views, desires, and goals with others. The simplest way to persuade others that you are trustworthy is make it all about them. And mean it.

How To Make It Work For You: Don’t let your ego override your mouth and good intentions. Don’t talk about yourself. Do spend time with follow-up questions from your last meeting with them. When you make every single statement about the other person and not about yourself, it becomes very powerful. It builds trust because it conveys two simple messages: 1) they are important, and 2) you care about them. It shapes everything else from that point forward.

© 2018 LaRae Quy. All rights reserved.

You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, AND LinkedIn

Get my FREE 45-Question Mental Toughness Assessment

Sign Up for my How To Build Confidence on-line training course

Author of “Mental Toughness for Women Leaders: 52 Tips To Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths” and “Secrets of a Strong Mind.”

7 Ways To Build Trust With Others

Monday, May 21st, 2018

FBI agents spend a great deal of time learning how to build trust with others. For that reason an agent’s most useful investigative tool is the interview. This is where trust is built—nose to nose, knee to knee. We need information from the people we talk to, and they need to know they can trust us in return.

Trust is at the heart of every business because trust forms the basis of every relationship. Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and leaders need to work with people both inside and outside of their organization to create mutually beneficial relationships.

Trust is a choice. If we know how to build trust with others, it means they have confidence that  we will keep our word. They trust that we are exactly who we say we are, and that we won’t desert them when times get tough.

Trust is give and take. It means you’ve found a way to relate to other people in a way that is meaningful to them.

One of today’s most essential skills is to learn how to build trust with others. Here are 7 ways that I have found useful in highly volatile situations that were filled with uncertainty, and where trust was critical:

1. Follow Through With Actions

The reason you build trust with others is so that people know that you will follow through when you’re assigned a task. You earn a reputation as someone who doesn’t break your commitment.

If you do need to break a commitment, communicate it early and treat it as renegotiation. With consistent follow through with actions, you are seen as someone who is reliable and trustworthy.

How To Make It Work For You: It’s as simple as this—keep your word. Not only does this strategy communicate to others that you respect their time as much as your own, it signals that you expect the same consideration from them.

2. Develop Good Communication Skills

It’s important to never leave a conversation until all parties are clear on what is expected of them. This is crucial in any negotiation or settlement discussions. Clarify the agreement because if someone’s expectations are not met, trust is forfeited. This is most common when sensitive issues like money are involved in the conversation.

We learn how to build trust with others by give and take. Trust doesn’t happen when you avoid the difficult details and hope the other person understands.  Trust is built when you have the difficult conversation and you’re able to communicate why the conversation is important.

How To Make It Work For You: Very often the message we send to others is not the one we intended to send. If you’re not sure how you come across, ask a friend to listen to you and get their feedback.

Just as often, even if we do send the right message, the way in which the other person perceives it might convey a different meaning to them. Before you leave a conversation, loop back and say, “This is what I heard you say…is that accurate?”

3. Practice Patience

As the spokesperson for the FBI in Northern California, I experienced incredible pressure from reporters to meet deadlines. As a result, I became inflexible and short-tempered with the people around me. It became difficult to build trust with others because the message I sent was that my time was more important than theirs.

The rush to get things done tends to create an uncomfortable environment. It’s easy for people to feel left out or unimportant if they can’t make a direct contribution to the crisis at hand.

How To Make It Work For You: Pressure can be good, but too much of it can leave a person impatient and inflexible. It takes time to build trust with others so make them feel just as important as the crisis that lurks over your shoulder. You’ll always have a crisis to handle; you may not have another opportunity to gain that person’s trust in you.

4. Establish A Culture Of Purpose

Successful business owners understand that their company exists because it improves the lives of their customers. The only reason a customer or client pays for the company’s services is because it provides a clear benefit. 

Chris Edmonds talks about the importance of a healthy, purposeful culture in his book, The Culture Engine. Organizations that are successful don’t try to make their people happy at work. Instead, they create a culture where trust is produced because they share a clearly stated purpose.

The culture of purpose for FBI agents is Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity. Once any one of those tenants is abrogated or compromised, there is a breakdown of trust. Read current news to understand that this is what the FBI is experiencing at the present moment.

How To Make It Work For You: Create a purpose narrative that reinforces the reason your company or work group exists. It helps to build trust with others when you find colleagues or customers who were helped by someone in your department or company and then share these stories with others.

5. Mirror Other People

A good way to build trust with others is to mirror their mannerisms. Neuro-linguistic researchers have found links between our mind, language, and behavior. The three primary modes through which people react to the world around them are visual (seeing), auditory (hearing), and kinesthetic (feeling).

These sensory channels become important when we built trust with others because they help us relate to people in a way that is meaningful to them. Pay attention to the language that a person uses—chances are, they will follow one of the following three patterns in their speech.

  • Sounds like . . . a lot of information.
  • Looks like . . . a lot to learn.
  • Feels like . . . more than I can handle.

How To Make It Work For You: If someone expresses themselves using a feeling word, use a feeling word to respond. If someone is an auditory person, use sounds to bring home your point: “it sounds like a thousand people in the room.” For visual people, ask them what the issue “looks” like to them.

6. Notice Their Words

When people are passionate about something, they use words that are freighted with meaning. The first step is to notice the words they use that are full of energy. Here are some energy words another person may use in a conversation that point to their emotional state:

  • Disappointed
  • Baffled
  • Cautious
  • Confused
  • Grateful
  • Hesitant
  • Interested
  • Relaxed
  • Surprised
  • Uncertain
  • Nervous
  • The list goes on…

How To Make It Work For You: After you have noticed the way a person uses an energy word, repeat it, and then pause. When you repeat the word, and then pause, it alerts them to the fact that you 1) notice their concern, 2) have validated it, and 3) given them an opportunity to further elaborate.

7. Admit You Don’t Have All The Answers

It takes genuine confidence in yourself to admit you don’t know something, but this simple act of trust on your part speaks volumes to the people who hear it. Your team will understand that you are an honest and open person.

When you show your vulnerabilities, it helps to build trust with others because they will see you as someone like them, someone who doesn’t have all the answers.

How To Make It Work For You: Trust is reciprocal, so the more you trust others, they more likely they will trust you. Trusting others also requires you to take a risk because you cannot always predict their response.

© 2018 LaRae Quy. All rights reserved.

You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, AND LinkedIn

Get my FREE 45-Question Mental Toughness Assessment

Sign Up for my How To Build Confidence on-line training course

Author of “Mental Toughness for Women Leaders: 52 Tips To Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths” and “Secrets of a Strong Mind.”

Leadership, Trust, and the SyFy Channel

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

There were many reasons I decided to accept the offer to become the FBI spokesperson in Northern California. I felt I could cultivate trust with the public and share information about the great investigations conducted by our agents.

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The public needs to understand how law enforcement agencies like the FBI work. I was not afraid to be transparent about all aspects of our work. I truly believe the FBI is the world’s foremost investigative agency.

Many of my fellow agents did not feel the same way about developing trust with the public. They wanted to keep investigations and their work shrouded in secrecy. What they could never understand is that when things are kept in the dark, they take on a life of their own. And that is never good for an organization like the FBI. The FBI depends upon the public’s support and assistance to solve most of their cases.

One of my former colleagues called for an internal investigation after the publication of my first book, “Secrets Of A Strong Mind.” A fellow counterintelligence agent, she accused me of handing over too much information to the “other side.” Never mind that it was 1) unclassified, 2) written about hundreds of times before, and 3) common sense!

She is, of course, extremely paranoid and might have made a better CIA or KGB officer than FBI agent. FBI Headquarters sided with me because they know that if I err, it’s because I portray the FBI in too positive of a light! The FBI is not a perfect organization but one that I was very proud to represent for 24 years.

Recently, my good friend James Wedick put me in touch with the SyFy channel. They were creating a backstory trailer about undercover work to promote a new TV series called Hunters. I was interviewed along with another former FBI agent and a retired CIA officer.

Here are four things I kept in mind about developing trust when preparing for the SyFy channel’s video:

1. IT’S NOT WHAT YOU DO, IT’S HOW YOU LOOK DOING IT

I was concerned at first because my first reaction to the SyFy channel’s request was—how will this make the FBI look? Hunters is about alien terrorists, after all!

But the more I talked to the producer of the backstory trailer, the more convinced I was that they had two priorities. First, produce an interesting series. Second, leverage as much reality as possible.

ACTION POINT: Approach each and every project with the same amount of integrity because you never know who is watching or listening. That’s true whether it’s a backstory for a show about alien terrorists, or making a presentation in front of your colleagues.

2. TRUST REQUIRES HONESTY

Unfortunately, I worked with a lot of agents who believed that the best way to get the job done was to act tough. It is true that is all some criminals understand. But being a tough guy can only get you so far. Many of these same colleagues know this after they experienced failed relationships, broken families, and endless child support payments.

ACTION POINT: When you are afraid to be honest with yourself, and others, your ability to create trust is extremely limited. People may be too polite to call you a phoney to your face but your credibility diminishes a little each time you open your disingenuous little mouth.

3. EMOTIONAL COMPETENCE IS THE REAL DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

Believe me, you will never hear touchy-feely words thrown about in the halls of any FBI office. There are still a fair number of agents who believe that brute strength and ignorance will take them wherever they need to go.

The truly successful agents, however, know that developing trust requires emotional competence. This includes:

  • Self-awareness—so they can predict how they will react when confronted with the unknown.
  • Empathy—they are able to relate to others in an honest way.
  • Managing their emotions—if they cannot regulate their response to a variety of situations, they automatically lose the upper hand.

ACTION POINT: If you want to be mentally tough, you must be able to control your emotions. The only way to do that is to become emotionally aware.

4. WORK WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT; NOT WHAT YOU WISH YOU HAD

When talking to people, it’s important to be able to admit mistakes. Be smart enough to learn from your failures. No one wants to listen to a smug prig.

It requires mental toughness to take a long, hard look at yourself so you can identify your strengths. And your strengths. Then, forget about trying to change those weaknesses. Instead, learn to manage them. Don’t ignore them, but understand how to mitigate the way they limit your progress.

Spend the rest of your time developing your strengths. Not only will you be happier, you will be more successful.

ACTION POINT: Forget about romanticized versions of who you wish you were—see yourself for who you truly are, and then make that person as fiercely awesome as possible!

Play the trailer below. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did making it! 

presented by the SyFy channel

© 2016 LaRaeQuy. All rights reserved.

You can follow me on Twitter

Get my FREE 45-Question Mental Toughness Assessment

Author of “Mental Toughness for Women Leaders: 52 Tips To Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths” and “Secrets of a Strong Mind.”

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What 5 Things Build Trust In A Relationship?

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

I spent most of my professional career trying to recruit foreign spies to work for the FBI. Foreign Intelligence Officers are trained to believe that FBI agents are not to be trusted because they are manipulative and greedy. 

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This stereotype can be a hard nut to crack. FBI Agents have to be masters in selling themselves and their product. The only way to do this is by building trust with the other individual.

And you know what? If I tried to fake it, it didn’t work.

Strengthening relationships is not just a priority for counterintelligence FBI agents who want to establish trust with the Targets of their investigations. You may need to develop trust with team members, competitors, and new clients—it is the most important factor in building relationships.

From my own background and experience, here are some key things you need to do in order to develop trust:

1. Work Hard To Understand The Goals And Priorities Of Others

I developed a genuine appreciation for the Target of my investigation. If I couldn’t, I walked away from the case—the Target deserved better from me.

Your greatest need may be to build stronger connections with competitors, or those who would rather see you fail than succeed. No matter your current relationship, let them know that their goals and priorities are important to you.

Mental toughness is controlling your emotions rather than letting your emotions control you—do not let anger, resentment, or jealousy interfere with your own goals and priorities—to win their trust!

TIP: Keep your friends close; keep your enemies even closer.

2. Never Lie About The Things That Matter

I approached my meetings with the Target as a collaboration of honest conversations. So, I never lied to the Target. I met him in true name and laid out the proposal in plain language. No tricks and no bait-and-switch.

When you look at someone as an object, or as good or bad to your career, trust cannot be built. Instead, try to be non-judgmental and understand:

  • Their objectives and goals
  • Why it is their objective or goal
  • What they are truly after
  • Where you can find common ground

TIP: To manage the constant flow of information, our brain is hardwired to make snap judgments about people and situations. You will need to intentionally choose to be non-judgmental as you build trust with others.

3. Never Succumb To The Temptation of Manipulation

I always believed my relationship with the Target would be long-term and beneficial to both of us.

Whenever a self-serving agenda becomes apparent, we know we’re being manipulated. When this happens, make an effort to understand why they feel the need to manipulate you rather than communicating with you in a more direct manner.

Maybe they don’t trust you?

TIP: Look for ways that you can help them think about other, more successful ways they can be successful in what they want to achieve. And then help them achieve their goal.

4. One Favor Deserves Another

I resisted the temptation to feel angry or put-upon when the Target started testing our relationship by asking for favors—especially ones that would help make him look good in some way.

The law of reciprocity says that when we do someone a favor, the other person will feel an obligation to reciprocate that favor at some point in the future. Over time, the need to reciprocate the interest, kindness, and effort that you’ve made on their behalf will pay off.

TIP: Trust is built faster and stronger when your agenda is not the first priority.

5. Get Rid Of The Ego

I treated the Target as an equal, and not as a second-class citizen even when I knew he was trying to steal classified U.S military documents.

It’s tempting to take the moral high ground, but I always made an effort to understand why they made the choices they had in life. As I listened to their answers, I answered non-judgmentally and followed up with questions that were not freighted with judgment. 

It means suspending the ego and the certainty of your rightness in the matter. If you make the conversations all about them, you are continually validating them as human beings.

William Shakespeare wrote this famous line—“Love all, trust few.” He had it right—trust only in the few who take a genuine interest in understanding your needs and wants. Trust is not an act.

TIP: Once people trust you, they will trust your message.

Whose message do you trust?

 

© 2015 LaRaeQuy. All rights reserved.

You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, AND LinkedIn

Get my FREE 45-Question Mental Toughness Assessment

Sign Up for my How To Build Confidence on-line training course

Author of “Mental Toughness for Women Leaders: 52 Tips To Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths” and “Secrets of a Strong Mind.” 

 

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